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Juli Colotti: Emotional Intelligence; What It Is, Why It Is So Essential, And How We Can Increase It

Never give up. Keep putting all the good things you wish for out into the universe and watch it all happen. A positive mindset is key to success. If you think it will happen it will. It will not be easy but I promise you it will be worth it!

As a part of our series about “Emotional Intelligence, I had the pleasure of interviewing Juli Colotti.

Juli Colotti is a dual business owner, as she owns a personal training studio in Kingston NY. Juli is also a habit and lifestyle coach and the CEO of JMC Lifestyle. Juli has a Masters in Kinesiology and Sports Psychology, which makes her well equipped for both of her CEO roles. Juli knows what burnout is having experienced it first hand during the shutdown owning a personal training studio in NY state and being shut down 7 months. Juli has become a pro at pivoting at that is what she teaches her clients to do while grabbing life by the horns.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was born and raised in Newburgh NY. I have an older brother who serves proudly as a member of our United States military. I spent most of my younger years with my Grandpa, who was my hero. As a child both of my parents worked full time, with my dad working evenings. My grandparents cared for my brother and I. My favorite childhood memories are at Long Beach Island where my grandparents took my brother and I every summer. I was also always very active, from the minute I could walk I had a baseball bat in my hand, playing wiffle ball with my Aunts and Uncles. My family is the “typical” Italian family, who does the 7 fishes on Christmas eve. There are 10 grandkids on my fathers side of the family. We are all still super close ,with me being the second oldest.

When I was in 6th grade my parents divorced, and I was now a latch key child. I truly think this has shaped me to be who I am today. I was independent very early, and I am a better person for it. Both of my parents even while divorced played a huge role in my life and still do. I will always be Daddy’s Little Girl. My grandfather was my hero and always will be. He taught me “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” This quote is what I live by to this day.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I always wanted to be in the fitness industry. I was born to be a coach. Being the 2nd oldest cousin, I taught all of my cousin how to play soccer and baseball. We were always active, and this continued as I got older and found the gym. So, I knew I had to go to college for Exercise Science.

Through owning my personal training studio, I learned many things about myself. During the pandemic I learned even more. This is when I really discovered habit and lifestyle coaching. I started coaching my personal training clients on another level due to the pandemic. All this coaching came naturally to me. So, this is how JMC Lifestyle was born.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I would say there are two people my grandpa and my wife.

My Grandpa passed away in 2008, and I miss him every day. My grandfather watched me when I was little before I went to school and during the summer. He shaped me to the woman I am today. He taught me I could do anything I ever wanted to do in this world. He used to tell me “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Everyday I wake up I live my life to make him proud of who I am and how far I have come.

My wife is the reason I push myself every day. On the days that I wanted to give up she put some sense back into me and told me to keep pushing. If it wasn’t for my wife I truly would not be as advanced in my career as I am. She encourages me and pushes me everyday to be the best version of me.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I think the funniest mistake I ever made in my career was when I was filming a live video. I thought the video had ended and I turned if off, however I did not. I continued to chat with my assistant in the office. Luckily we were talking about our weekend plans and nothing confidential because people started commenting on the live video!

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Never give up. Keep putting all the good things you wish for out into the universe and watch it all happen. A positive mindset is key to success. If you think it will happen it will. It will not be easy but I promise you it will be worth it!

Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book changed my life. It is such an easy read and so practical. If you have not read it go order it now.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” This quote is everything to me. It isn’t all about baseball which was a huge part of my childhood. No matter what you do there is always a chance of failing but you can’t let that fear stop you. Everyday you have to wake up ready to play, do your best and you will never strike out.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am working on the launch of my 90 Day Bull Program. This program will help people regain control of their routine and form habits to help them reach their goals. Too many people are living in chaos and are looking for paradise. The Bull Program will help them find their own little piece of paradise.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you briefly tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority about Emotional Intelligence?

I use emotional intelligence everyday with my clients. I have to have the empathy to relate to them and listen to their struggles. Even if I am having a bad day personally I have to control my emotions so I can be there to help my clients succeed.

For the benefit of our readers, can you help to define what Emotional Intelligence is?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. I also like to call it social awarness

How is Emotional Intelligence different from what we normally refer to as intelligence?

Emotional intelligence relates to social settings not just how smart you are in general. Someone can be really “book smart” and have a high IQ, but lack emotional intelligence since they have social anxiety.

Can you help explain a few reasons why Emotional Intelligence is such an important characteristic? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Of course, nicely-shaped muscles are attractive, but there is a far greater sign of good health than just a fit body: emotional well-being.

Your emotional health has an impact on every aspect of your life, and caring for it is just as essential as caring for your overall physique.

Gratitude is the source of all happiness, and cultivating a grateful heart is a proven way to attaining emotional stability and well-being.

The willingness to appreciate any positive thing in our lives is a significant indicator of emotional wellness.

Reaching a state of thankfulness might seem like an exercise in futility if we have a negative attitude or low mental stability.

If you’re having these types of issues, take baby steps. Find something to feel thankful for in your life. Make a list, and then at least two things you need to be thankful for the next day.

Would you feel comfortable sharing a story or anecdote about how Emotional Intelligence has helped you in your life? We would love to hear about it.

Can you share some specific examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help a person become more successful in the business world?

When you are stable emotionally, you are pleased with yourself. You are acquainted with your flaws and talents, and you’re comfortable with who you are on the inside.

Also, you are consistent, which implies that the personality you present to the public reflects your core self.

Consistency in this context means that the overarching feeling of your essence is in alignment with what you project to the outside world.

Although there are instances where you instinctually shift your behavior or attitude due to social circumstances.

Consistency suggests that your overwhelming view of your innate self is in harmony with what you project to other people out there.

Can you share a few examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help people have better relationships?

You repair and forgive relationships that have been damaged. Getting bitter isn’t constructive or healthy, and a mentally healthy individual understands when it’s time to let go of ego and power if they must rebuild a strained connection. Although not every relationship can be repaired, attempting to at least hear other people’s side of the story is considerate and sensible. You place a higher value on memories than on belongings. You see yourself valuing vacations, events, and dinners with friends over material goods, choosing the ethereal to the physical. The same is true for social networking sites. An individual in good mental health will devote considerable time appreciating an event rather than attempting to capture it for others to see.

Can you share a few examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help people have more optimal mental health?

Your life has a purpose. Having a purpose, a goal, or a broader significance for your life is what it means to live a meaningful life.

This occurs when you apply your skills to aid a cause you care about. Working with children, becoming engaged in politics, becoming an active member of a faith community for a worthwhile purpose are just a few examples.

Ok. Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you recommend five things that anyone can do to develop a greater degree of Emotional Intelligence? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Observe how you react to people.

The way someone reacts, verbally and non-verbally and their behavior when participating in a conversation, sends powerful messages about them and how they feel. For example, when asking someone if they are in pain, they may say ‘no’ but a wrinkled brow, uncomfortable facial expression or body movement may say otherwise. As an observant worker you will be able to notice when an individual is becoming confused, angry, upset, stressed or anxious without them telling you.

2. Take responsibility for your actions.

Taking responsibility for your actions requires the realization that you play a part in every situation or experience and therefore, have some degree of responsibility over the outcomes or consequences. You may have heard it referred to as accountability. It means that your first reaction when a mistake is made or something doesn’t go as planned, isn’t to blame others, make excuses, twist the facts, or flat out lie. Instead, you swiftly acknowledge there is a problem, identify your role in it, and implement an action plan to minimize the chances of it happening again.

3. Practice emotional management.

Recognizing your emotions and learning to manage them is one of the most important skills you can have. In fact people who are good at noticing how they feel and can calm themselves down or adjust their behavior are more likely to do well in life, have healthy relationships and manage difficulties and set backs.

Once you are skilled at recognizing your own emotions, managing them and communicating them to others, you can help others do the same!

Children who get really good at understanding people’s feelings will be able to tell when the people around them are not feeling very happy and will be able respond appropriately and help them.

They will be able to help to support their siblings, friends and people around them as they grow up will help them form better relationships.

4. Practice self-awareness.

If you’re self-aware, you always know how you feel, and you know how your emotions and your actions can affect the people around you. Being self-aware when you’re in a leadership position also means having a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses , and it means behaving with humility .

So, what can you do to improve your self-awareness?

  • Keep a journal — Journals help you improve your self-awareness. If you spend just a few minutes each day writing down your thoughts, this can move you to a higher degree of self-awareness.
  • Slow down — When you experience anger or other strong emotions, slow down to examine why. Remember, no matter what the situation, you can always choose how you react to it. (Our article on Managing Your Emotions at Work will help you understand what your emotions are telling you.)

5. Examine how your actions will affect others — before you take those actions.

Leaders who do well in the social skills element of emotional intelligence are great communicators. They’re just as open to hearing bad news as good news, and they’re expert at getting their team to support them and be excited about a new mission or project.

Leaders who have good social skills are also good at managing change and resolving conflicts diplomatically. They’re rarely satisfied with leaving things as they are, but they don’t sit back and make everyone else do the work: they set an example with their own behavior.

So, how can you build social skills?

  • Learn conflict resolution — Leaders must know how to resolve conflicts between their team members, customers, or vendors. Learning conflict resolution skills is vital if you want to succeed.
  • Improve your communication skills — How well do you communicate? Our communication quiz will help you answer this question, and it will give useful feedback on what you can do to improve.
  • Learn how to praise others — As a leader, you can inspire the loyalty of your team simply by giving praise when it’s earned. Learning how to praise others is a fine art, but well worth the effort.

Do you think our educational system can do a better job at cultivating Emotional Intelligence? What specific recommendations would you make for schools to help students cultivate Emotional Intelligence?

I think the school system can do a better job at cultivating emotional intelligence. I think this is very teacher and school district dependent. Especially in today’s world, kids are so hooked on technology they don’t know how to express themselves.

There are five things that can be done in school

  • First, teach students to understand the vast variety of emotions
  • Next, work on strategies to control their emotions
  • Teach students to feel empathy
  • Teach students to handle delayed gratification
  • Teach students to volunteer and give back to society

Now I know this is not easy but if started at the beginning of school as kids get older they will learn more and catch on.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could inspire a movement, it would be the act of paying it forward. This can be simple, start with a smile. You never know how a smile can turn someone’s day around. Paying it forward doesn’t have to be buying someone’s order behind you in the drive-thru line. Like I said it can be as simple as a smile or a “hello.”

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can connect with me at JMCLifestyle.com. They can email me at Juli@JMCLifestyle.com. I am on facebook at Facebook.com/JMCLifestyle. I am also on Insatgram at JMC_thebull_lifestyle.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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